History repeated itself as Lewis Johnson and Ryan Miles fired Norfolk to victory over Staffordshire to secure the FA County Youth Cup.
In 2011, Norfolk’s Under-18s had bested Staffs, the first-ever winners of the competition all the way back in the 1945 season, 4-2 at the bet365 Stadium.
On Saturday afternoon, the two sides were back at the home of Premier League Stoke City, jostling for national glory, and Adam Gusterson’s Norfolk ran out 2-0 winners to seal the County Youth Cup for the second time.
- The FA County Youth Cup final
- Saturday 14 April 2018
- bet365 Stadium, Stoke
Norfolk were first to threaten through Miles, who, following a free-kick into the Staffordshire box, did his best to bring an aerial ball down for a strike at goal but his eventual effort was too tame to trouble the opposition keeper.
Goalie Billy Johnson was forced to save from a close-range effort as the contest rumbled on while, shortly before half-time, Miles Palmer crossed into the area but Staffs goalie Jamie Pardington bravely gathered to snuff out the danger.
Norfolk continued to turn the screw in the second period and, from a corner, Archie Galley side-footed narrowly wide, with Pardington sprawling, while a long throw from Josh Ford very nearly created an opening in the Staffordshire area.
With 77 minutes on the clock, the breakthrough arrived.
With an inswinging corner kick whipped towards the front post, Johnson stole a march on his marker and nodded home to spark wild celebrations from the young men in green.
Norfolk would go on to make things safe from 12 yards, Miles thumping home down the centre of the goal from the spot to make it 2-0.